Kriegsmaine Cap Ribbon (Tally) Sailing School Ship Horst Wessel

Kriegsmaine Cap Ribbon (Tally) Sailing School Ship Horst Wessel

Code: 56701

£150.00 Approx $186.8, €174.62, £150
 

A scarce an unissued Kriegsamarine Cap Ribbon (Tally) for the Sailing Ship Horst Wessel.

Full length and is in excellent condition, the Ribbon with Gothic script in Celleon thread on a rayon backing, its original paper cover still in place.

 Horst Wessel was a Gorch Fock-class Barque commissioned into the German Navy service in 1936 as a training ship. She was the flagship of the German Navy's sail training fleet, operating out of Kiel, Germany. In late 1938, she and her sister ship Albert Leo Schlageter embarked on a four-month voyage, visiting ports in the Caribbean Sea. When the European War broke out in 1939, she was decommissioned from active service and served as a stationary training ship at Stralsund, Germany for the marine branch of the Hitler Youth.

In 1942, she returned to active status, resuming her role as a training ship. In Nov 1944, her sister ship Albert Leo Schlageter struck a mine off Rügen, Germany; Horst Wessel towed her by the stern to keep her from sinking before larger ships could arrive to tow Albert Leo Schlageter to port for repairs.

In Apr 1945, after the last cadet class had departed, Horst Wessel departed Rügen with a group of German refugees on board. She sailed to Flensburg, Germany where Captain Barthold Schnibbe surrendered her to the British. She was ordered to Bremerhaven, Germany, where she would be stripped of most of her equipment.

After the war, Horst Wessel was given to the United States as reparation. She was alocated to the United States Coast Guard, which commissioned her into service as USCGC Eagle (WIX-327). She sailed from Bremerhaven to Orangeburg, New York, United States in Jun 1946 with both her new American crew as well as most of her former German crew, including Captain Schnibbe. The German crew was disembarked at Camp Shanks before Eagle proceeded to New London, Connecticut, United States.

She visited Kiel, West Germany in 1972 at the invitation of the West German government, Kiel having been Horst Wessel's home port for some time during the ship's tenure as a German Navy ship.

USCGC Eagle remains an active training ship for the US Coast Guard today, and I had the pleasure of visiting her in San Diego in the mid 2000’s